Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Book Review: Throne of Glass
After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she's bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it's the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best. Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.
Oh, this book was so fun! I adore fantasy books and Throne of Glass was not a disappointment. I really enjoyed this engrossing read. Now, I think one's enjoyment of this book depends on two things: whether or not you like the main character, and whether or not the love triangle works for you. I liked both fairly well.
Ah, Celaena. She's one of the best characters I've read in a while. She is not like all the other naive, whiny, helpless girls in YA fiction. She's full of arrogance and self-confidence, and she doesn't let anyone tell her what to do. Normally I'd find such arrogance annoying in a character, but I actually loved it in Celaena. She has some fantastically witty lines too, and I liked her love of books. My only problem with her is that she has a touch of Mary-Sue-ish-ness: she can fight, loves to read, plays piano well, everyone loves her, etc. But I still love how she's so different from most characters.
The love triangle was not terrible, but it certainly doesn't have that same level of awesomeness as Cynthia Hand's Unearthly series or Cassandra Clare's Infernal Devices series. I like both of the guys who are in love with her - Prince Dorian and Chaol Westfall. I admit at the beginning, I thought Dorian was charming enough but rather shallow and boring. I take that back now...as the story progresses, his character has some real depth and I began to like him a good deal.
While Dorian's a good character, I think Chaol is better suited to Celaena. His dry sense of humor is quite amusing, and he understands her so well. I really hope Celaena will start liking him more in the sequel. (And while I'm on the subject of characters, I must mention that Nehemia is one of the best minor characters I've read in a looong time. I love her!)
And the plot is very entertaining! A touch predictable at times, but it's so well-written and thrilling that you just don't want to stop reading. Lots of action. And oh my word, those last fifty pages or so...I could NOT put the book down. Those scenes at the end were really intense.
I have to say that I don't like the cover, though. The girl looks like she's trying to be tough and is failing. I like the UK cover so much better. Go check it out on Goodreads if you haven't seen it, it fits the story perfectly. :)
I really enjoyed Throne of Glass; it's an excellent fantasy. I can't wait to read more of this author's work. If you like tough, strong heroines, a couple swoon-worthy guys, and an action-packed adventure full of magic and sword-fighting, then Throne of Glass is for you!
My rating: 8 out of 10 (4 stars)
~ The Bookworm